Twice this season, Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira suffered a calf strain. The second time, the injury wiped him out for most of September. Though he bounced back in time for the playoffs, he still feels the residual effects.
"My calf is going to be tight for probably the next couple of months," Teixeira said. "Because there is so much scar tissue in there."
But even if this is as close to 100 percent as Teixeira will get, the Yankees will gladly take it as they attempt to climb out of their ALCS hole. Thanks to a lineup filled with frigid bats, the Yankees trail the Tigers 2-0 in this best-of-seven series, which resumes with Game 3 Tuesday night at Comerica Park.
However, Teixeira has done his part, hitting .320 (8-for-25) in seven postseason games.
"My overall energy is pretty good because I had those five weeks basically off," Teixeira said. "You never want to take time off, but if there is a silver lining with being injured during the season, you might have a little extra energy during the end of the year and the postseason."
Energy has been at a premium. For the first two months of the season, he battled through severe coughing fits that affected his sleep. Doctors eventually figured out the source of his cough. But it wasn't long before he was battling a wrist injury and ultimately a blown calf.
"So it's been a very difficult season when it comes to health for me," he said. "But being as healthy as I can be during the playoffs, I just try to contribute any way I can, whether it is in the field or in the batter's box."
With the exception of a rare error when a grounder rolled through his legs in Game 2 of the ALDS against the Orioles, Teixeira also has given the Yankees Gold Glove-caliber defense at first base.
He also used his legs in Game 5 of the ALDS, swiping second base before scoring on a single. He stole the base despite the lingering tightness in his calf.
"Other than that, I played with tight muscles my entire career, and you battle through it," he said. "But you know, my body feels pretty good from top to bottom."